Don’t presume that your former employer won’t disclose the reason your job ended, your last date of employment or even your ending salary. Large companies typically have policies regarding the disclosure of former employee information, and who at the organization is permitted to give out that information. However, many small businesses do not have a policy or are not aware or concerned about legal liability issues.

In either case, it’s important to know what your past employer is going to say about you because the stories must sync up.

Confirm What the Company Discloses

Companies are typically conservative about what information they share with hiring managers when confirming employment or checking references. What they say has to be the truth or the company can be subject to a lawsuit from the former employee. Legally, a former employer can say anything that is factual and accurate.

If you have concerns about what your former employer may say about you, there are a few ways to find out:

  • You can just directly ask the HR department.
  • You can have someone you know call and check your references. Before you do this, find out what information is typically asked on reference checks.
  • You can hire a reference-checking service to verify what information will be disclosed by your former employer.

If You Fear a Negative Reference

Pick your references carefully. If you didn’t get along with your direct manager, is there another leader you can ask for a reference? You can also use peers as references. Your references should include at least one supervisor, one person you collaborated with and one person who knows your character and values outside of work.

And finally, build up your LinkedIn recommendations on your profile. Often these are looked at first when the employer is doing a cursory social verification of your different jobs and hire dates. LinkedIn verification doesn’t replace a full background check, but it can set the tone and expectations of how you work with others.


Let the Jarvi Group Guide Your Next Career Move

Having an experienced and trusted professional recruiter vouching for your character, skills and experience is one of the strongest recommendations you can get. If you are ready to seek a new career challenge, reach out to the experienced recruiters at the Jarvi Group today.

Jarvi Group

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1350 Scribner Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


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